What adult does not have fun memories from Halloween as a kid? What adult doesn’t have horrifying memories from Halloween as a kid? You either had one or the other or more than likely both.
Back in the day (I won’t say which day to protect the innocence of my age, hehe) Halloween was a harmless holiday that’s only meaning for kids was CANDY! Costumes and parties were fun but let’s face it, for kids, it was all about the candy. We would wear dad’s old work boots and work-pants, paint on a mustache, put a bundle on the end of a stick and go as a hobo or throw a sheet over ourselves with two eye-holes (to see the candy of course!) and we were happy little ghosts out the door.
Nowadays, I am amazed at how much parents spend on costumes. They complain the whole time but still indulge. The old dig stuff out of the closet homemade costumes don’t seem to be acceptable anymore. Houses have elaborate Halloween decorations on rooftops and front lawns, smoke machines black lights, and every ghoul and talking skeleton they can find.
The unfortunate thing however with all the blood and gore horror movies that are now out, it can be pretty scary for the little ones to be surrounded by all this horror while out trick or treating. Heck it can even be a turn off for some of the adults. I know people at work that showed up with mask that I couldn’t even look at because they were so disturbing. So if an adult can have a negative reaction remember that for a child Trick or Treating can quickly turn into an evening of nightmares. When I ran my daycare, it was always interesting to hear the 3 and 4 yr. olds version of what they’d experienced the night before during trick or treating. I don’t think some parents really understood the trauma that some of those kids had experienced.
The other difference from then and now is that we could dive right in and enjoy all the delectable treats that we had worked so hard for. There was never a question of what we could or could not eat. There were no razors in apples, no popcorn balls laced with LSD; our parents did not need an airport x-ray detector to comb through our candy. Nowadays parents cannot trust what is being put in their children’s little plastic pumpkins and unfortunately have to approach Halloween on the defense for the protection of their little ones. We would like to think that we live in a world where no one would ever even think of harming a child, but unfortunately that is not the world we live in today. The good news is that most malls and churches now have Halloween or Fall Harvest events where you can take your children and feel safe about what is being put into their baskets.
So parents, don’t feel pressured to spend half your mortgage payments on costumes and/or decorations, they will have a good time as long as there is ‘candy at the end of the tunnel’; just make sure you check that candy before they eat it and schedule their next dental appointment!
By Dawn Varela